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New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Three

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NBA All-Star center Joel Embiid revealed that he’s been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, which is the reason for his recent eye trouble.

On Thursday night (April 25), Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid finally cleared up the speculation concerning his eyesight at a post-game press conference, informing the media that he’s suffering from Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy is a form of facial paralysis that causes sudden muscular weakness on one side of the face, making the eye on that side hard to close. Embiid said that he’d started dealing with the effects before the Sixers’ play-in tournament game with the Miami Heat at the outset of this year’s playoffs.

“I think it started a day or two before the Miami game [in the play-in tournament], and I had bad migraines and thought it was nothing,” Embiid said after the Sixers’ win over the New York Knicks. “It’s pretty annoying, you know, with the left side of my face, my mouth and my eye. So yeah, it’s been tough. But I’m not a quitter, so gotta keep fighting. But yeah, it’s unfortunate. That’s the way I look at it. But it’s not an excuse. Gotta keep pushing.” He also said that he was informed that the condition could last weeks or months.

He also spoke about how the condition is yet another addition to the list of ailments that he’s endured throughout his playing career, including a knee injury he’s still recovering from after surgery in February. “It is unfortunate,” he began. “Every single year, you start asking yourself questions like, ‘Why?’ Every single year it’s … very annoying. Yeah. Maybe it’s just meant to be. Just gotta take it as it is. But the one thing I’m not going to do is give up no matter what happens.”

The news comes after Embiid put up a historical 50 points on fewer than 20 shot attempts, making 19 of 21 free throws and five three-pointers, all playoff records for the 30-year-old. The effort gained Philadelphia their first victory in the first-round series against the surging second-seeded Knicks, who they’ll play against at home on Sunday (April 29) as the Knicks hold a two games to one lead.